IMAGH and Umbrella Organizations Celebrate New Year ‘21 on Zoom

Houston: Indian Muslims Association of Greater Houston popularly knows as IMAGH in Greater Houston community recently celebrated New year 2021 virtually along with organizations under their umbrella, CLUB65 and SAYA (South Asian Youth Alliance). This event happened on January 16, 2021 (Saturday) using the Zoom platform.

Saeed Pathan (Secretary, IMAGH) hosted program along with Rahat Sultana Kalle (Jt. Secretary, IMAGH) as a co-host. Zoom meeting was monitored by M. Kazi (Treasurer, IMAGH). It is worth mentioning that Saeed and Kazi are pioneer in bringing zoom platform to host numerous virtual meetings during the year 2020 and IMAGH was one of the first organization to host a virtual gathering of Eid Milan in 2020 to bring community together when pandemic was at its peak.

Saeed welcomed everyone and emphasized positivity forgetting what challenges we had in recent past. He appreciated everyone in the community who stayed connected with each other in past year and

Meeting started with a message from Munir Ibrahim (President – IMAGH). Munir shared briefly activities of IMAGH during last year. With COVID none of us were able to get together. However very quickly we adapted ourselves with Zoom technology and were able to have. Great applause goes to members of IMAGH, CLUB65 and SAYA for showing generosity and contributing to a great cause of providing meals to over 550 people to underserved community and donated $20,000 to buy laptops for needy students. We all are looking forward to having event in person soon. If anyone need any help on vaccine, IMAGH EC team will be more than happy to help

It was followed by Farida Bandali (President – CLUB65). Here are a few excerpts from her speech “2020 was a difficult year for everyone. Although Club 65 couldn’t meet in person we were active via ZOOM meetings providing educational and important information on Covid-19 and other various issues, as well as celebrating milestone events. We are looking forward to getting back into the groove of fun activities, trips etc. in 2021. Mr. Saeed Pathan through the past year was invaluable and instrumental in the smooth operation and working of ZOOM. Also, with the help and team effort of Club65 VP Rahat Sultana Kalle, VP Meera Kapoor, Program Coordinator Mariam Ibrahim Club 65 is ready for 2021!”

Sumaiya Razak (President – SAYA) also shared her views on activities of SAYA. SAYA is an organization of young adult to thrive and grow professionally and personally. Though COVID has been hard to meet in person, SAYA has been involved in volunteering during food drive during iftar dinner.

CLUB65 in collaboration with SAYA has come up with a unique “Adopt a Family” concept. Munir and Farida provided information about this program. These families which come from third world and arrive here. They don’t have any connections, no resources and no friends. Idea is to take over one family. We don’t need to stay with them but to stay connected with them. Initially information of one family will be provided so that person who is interested can get connected with this family”

Entertainment program started with a scintillating performance by a young artist from Muse Mantra School of Music and Arts. Muse Mantra School of Music and Arts is an up-and-coming music school in the Woodlands that offers music lessons of all the popular music instruments. The school was launched in June 2020 (yes, in the middle of the pandemic), with a mission to promote music & arts in our communities by attracting the best teachers who can help beginners and artists discover and hone their talents.

First performer of the event was Hayden Patrick, a drummer and guitarist with 6 + years of teaching experience in the Greater Houston area. Everyone enjoyed two songs played by him on Guitar. The next performer was by Omar Ali, a young 7th grader in Junior High School. He has been learning Violin at Muse Mantra for the past 7 months. Omar played two songs on Violin

Our next two items were dances. First dance number was from Bollywood movie ‘Dream Girl’—song Radhe Radhe, performed by our very own past president of Club 65 Paru McGuire, Dilip Desai (retired Engineer, now a working Realtor) and dance teacher Deepti Patel.

The next dance number was a colorful solo dance by Deepti Patel a 5-year resident of Houston.  She is a trained Bharatanatyam classical dancer since her teens and has performed in various cultural programs and nonprofit organizations.

Deepti is also ‘BollyX Fitness’ certified and teaches adults and kids cardio fitness. BollyX is a U.S.  company with music inspired by Bollywood! It was also featured on Shark Tank.

Due to the pandemic she has been volunteering her time as a BollyX instructor at India House offering dance workout classes on Zoom. Sadly, the Houston we will miss Deepti, as she is soon moving to Dallas to be near her children.

The last item of our program came on Zoom all the way from California. It was an exciting performance by Ferhan Qureshi and was assisted by his 9-year-old son Hamza on Tabla. Ferhan is a senior disciple of the legendary tabla maestro Ustad Abdul Sattar Tari Khan. Ferhan studied tabla for over 25 years and has performed alongside many distinguished singers, instrumentalists and dancers in the U.S. and Pakistan. He is dedicated to preserving the traditional repertoire of the Punjab Gharana. He has performed, taught and provided lecture demonstrations at many prestigious Universities including Stanford, UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, UC Berkeley.

Majority of attendees came online with beautiful outfits as there was best dressed contest. Khalid Razvi was judged “Best Dressed Male” of the event where as Farida Zhumkhawala was nominated as “Best dressed Female”.

On the whole the New Year program was a success. Everyone was in party attire to have a wonderful time! At the end Farida Bandali thanked everyone for attending the program and promised to have more fun events during the year ahead.

Saeed ended the event requesting everyone to stay positive, stay connected and of course keep wearing a mask, observe social distancing, and COVID protocol.